This article aims to explore the concept of microfiction as both a reader and a writer: that is to say, as a critic and a practitioner. It examines the historical roots of microfiction, such as fables and parables, and its sources in China and Japan, until its development as a genre in its own right in the twentieth century and beyond, where it is becoming more and more popular. Its generic patterns, such as its search for epiphany and use of poetic techniques in a prose form are also discussed, whilst surveying its relation to flash fiction and prose poetry. Microfiction here has been used as a blanket term for all forms of very short fiction, and all very short forms have been discussed together, taking a holistic approach rather than a divisive one. As well as critical questions, this article also looks at the creative process and ways of writing microfiction, with examples and advice.